You all know that I enjoying cooking all different cuisines...I guess you could say that I have a very eclectic palate. But there is one area that I haven't explored very much and that is Middle Eastern cooking. I hadn't really even given it much thought...Well until Michael's coworker/friend, Mariam gave us a box of Iranian saffron. That sparked my curiosity and I began reading up on Middle Eastern cooking.
Now I don't know of any Middle Eastern restaurants around here and I only recently discovered a small Mediterranean market where I can finally buy things like bags of raw pistachios, orange blossom water, and pomegranate molasses. A couple weekends ago was my first trip there...I just bought a random hodgepodge of stuff, no idea what I was going to cook. I knew I'd figure that all out later.
And I decided on these little cakes that I found on Azita's Persian cooking blog, Turmeric and Saffron. Just in case you were wondering these cakes are named after the city of Yazd in Iran. These cakes...more like muffins, lightly sweet, and with the scent and flavor of rose water and cardamom.
I thought they were perfect, but the real test...I had Michael carry a couple to work for Mariam. He told me she opened the bag and said they smell just like what we have back home.
adapted from Turmeric and Saffron
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 & 2/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbs rose water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
chopped pistachios (I used about a 1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Add the rose water and vanilla extract, mix well. Mix in the yogurt one spoonful at a time. In another mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill the liners 2/3 full. Garnish the tops with chopped pistachios. Bake for 20-25 minutes for standard size muffins and 10-13 minutes for mini, until golden brown and when a tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from the pans and cool on racks.
I made 12 full sized muffins and 24 mini muffins, so this recipe should make about 24 full sized muffins.